On Feb. 24, President Joe Biden signed an executive order, enforcing a 100-day review on all U.S. supply chains. This includes identifying risks for certain materials, software and pharmaceuticals. This includes reviewing transportation, production of agriculture commodities and food products. This includes assessing current domestic manufacturing workforce skills, climate change and critical goods. It also includes caring for the resilience and capacity of U.S. manufacturing supply chains.
This executive order puts our nation’s supply chains at the forefront—where they belong.
And, food safety remains a key piece to that puzzle. That’s because at the end of the day, it’s what we don’t know that continues to challenge the supply chain.
It’s the inability to forecast when the next supply chain disruption strikes. It’s the inability to plan accordingly. And, it’s the inability to recover effectively.
This time last year, it was all about ensuring regulatory compliance at a time when most of the nation was on lockdown.
Inventory control was out of whack. The grocery retail channel shifted overnight to a direct-to-consumer model. Consumers stockpiled, factories worked overtime and demand officially overtook supply.
It was crisis management at its best. But, when disaster strikes, it’s our nation’s food supply that bears the brunt.
Fast forward to today, and while most of the bends have been resolved, the consumers of yesterday are different. They shop online, they buy in bulk and they believe in sustainable food production.
They don’t pay attention to the challenges behind the scenes impacting cold food chains, but they still need to eat, and they need to eat safe, quality food.
That’s why maintaining food safety must be a continuous effort that involves all employees of all companies at all times.
“More resilient supply chains are secure and diverse — facilitating greater domestic production, a range of supply, built-in redundancies, adequate stockpiles, safe and secure digital networks and a world-class American manufacturing base and workforce,” the executive order states.
CLICK HERE to read more about the 100-Day Supply Chain Review. And, check out the cover story of our April 2021 issue, where industry experts reveal the secret to providing a safe food culture in an unsafe world.